World Press Photo 2022

Africa - Stories

Kidnappings of students by Islamist groups and armed gangs continue to impact schools in Nigeria. These groups kidnap students to oppose Western secularism, to gain quick cash through ransoms, or to bargain for the release of imprisoned Boko Haram members. In 2014, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign led to international protests and wider discussions about this issue. However, kidnappings continue today without international media attention. According to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, more than 12 million children – girls in particular –are traumatised and fear going to school. Names of the people in the photographs have been changed for safety reasons.

Aminah Labaran (not her real name) crying at home, in Jangebe, Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, on Feb 27, 2021, the day after her two daughters were abducted. Gunmen, apparently from a bandit group, snatched 279 girls from dormitories in the middle of the night at the Government Girls Secondary School in the village. Title: Afraid to go to School © Sodiq Adelakun Adekola, Agence-France Presse
A classroom lying deserted at the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, on Feb 27, 2021. © Sodiq Adelakun Adekola, Agence-France Presse
Hawa Munzali (not her real name) displaying a photo of her 14-year-old daughter Faith (not her real name). Faith was among 140 students abducted from the Bethel Baptist High School, in Chikun, Kaduna state, north-west Nigeria, 10 days earlier, on July 5, 2021. © Sodiq Adelakun Adekola, Agence-France Presse
Sandals belonging to kidnapped students remain lying on the ground at the Bethel Baptist High School, in Chikun, Kaduna state, north-west Nigeria, on July 14, 2021. © Sodiq Adelakun Adekola, Agence-France Presse

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